Presents. Days off work. Having a cocktail in the middle of the day. These are some of the greatest parts of the holiday season. Also, family time.
But sometimes you need to break up the intense at-home eggnog-ing and sports watching. Whether you’ve got a younger cousin you’re obligated to take out, or parents you’re actually happy to spend New Year’s Eve with, we’ve got ideas on where to go out over the holidays with your family.
Perfect For: Christmas Day Eating When No One Wants To Cook
Last year Mom almost burned the house down trying to bake a ham, and everyone is still reliving the trauma. Avoid having to step foot in the kitchen and go eat at The Pikey. This British pub in Hollywood doesn’t hold back on holiday spirit, with stockings all over the place and a special English-themed Christmas menu. You can try roasted goose, eat a lot of yorkshire pudding, and finally figure out what figgy pudding is. Even if it means Grandma will be singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” until they close at 2am.
Perfect For: An Uncomfortable Lunch With Your Outspoken Aunt
Your Aunt Roberta is in town, and she wants to take you to a nice lunch. And by that, she means a place where she can complain about how your mom gifted her a Weight Watcher’s subscription last year and never apologized. Spago is your spot. The classic Beverly Hills restaurant is a complete scene, but the food is very good, the waitstaff makes you feel like you have an Academy Award, and the big space is filled with everyone talking sh*t. Order the off-menu items: the tuna tartare cones, the salmon pizza, and the schnitzel.
Perfect For: Breakfast With Your Mom Before You Return All Your Gifts
It’s not that you hate the dog sweater your great-uncle gave you, it’s just that you don’t have a dog. You also promised Mom some “quality time” over the holidays, so it’s time to combine activities. Before you brave The Grove in search of refunds for things you’ll never use, have breakfast at Joan’s On Third. This West 3rd St. legend is a little less chaotic in the mornings, and happens to be home to a very good breakfast sandwich. Plus, Mom will probably see an early ’90s celebrity drinking coffee and not eating anything, and so won’t mind when you admit that you’ll be returning the saucepan set you definitely won’t ever use.
Perfect For: When You And Your Sibling Just Need To Get Out Of The House
Grandma and Grandpa have been bickering for days, and your uncle alternates between watching TV so loud no one else can talk and asking you inappropriate personal questions. The time has come to tell the family you have to run an errand, and actually go to The Tripel with your siblings instead. There’s an unending selection of craft beer, two different (and excellent) types of burgers, and as many sweet potato tots as you can handle. All of which should help you better tolerate the people you’re related to.
Perfect For: Early Casual Dinner With Your Parents Before You Get Drunk
Absolutely no one in your family wants to get dressed up and go to a stuffy dinner for New Year’s Eve this year. But you also have a prepaid open bar starting at 10pm with your friends, and you need some sustenance beforehand. Tam O’Shanter in Los Feliz is one of the oldest restaurants in the city, with an aesthetic that reads somewhere between medieval drinking tavern and Snow White’s country home. But for however bizarre and over-the-top the place is, they also serve a damn good prime rib and the waitstaff is set on making sure you have an excellent time.
Perfect For: New Years Day Brunch When You Regret Everything
“I’m laying low this year for New Year’s Eve.” Remember when you said that? But here you are on New Year’s Day, starfished on your bed, your mouth a desert, and that bottle of Pedialyte in the refrigerator basically on the other side of the ocean. Go soak up that $11 bottle of champagne that’s still in your stomach at Salt’s Cure, one of the most reliable brunches in the city. You’re going to want their 2x2x2 (2 eggs, 2 sausage patties, and 2 strips of bacon), the burger, and their life-altering griddlecakes.
Perfect For: Taking Your 21-year-old Cousin Out
You really like your cousin Matt, but he also just turned 21 in November and he drinks like it. He also just asked you if you want to go out tonight. Under no circumstance are you downing Fireball shots all night along Main Street, so go to Highland Park Bowl instead. The 1920’s bowling alley was completely redone a few years ago and is one of our favorite places to drink on the Eastside. Their cocktails are probably the best cocktails served inside a bowling alley in the world, and their pizza-heavy menu is pretty great too. And in case you (or your cousin Matt) were wondering, bowling is still very fun.